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Ga. 20 resurfacing project gets underway
Pre-Thanksgiving finish is goal
Work was to begin this morning on Ga. 20, including this section near the Mall of Georgia, to repave the road from Interstate 85 to Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. - photo by Tom Reed


Teri Pope, Georgia Department of Transportation spokeswoman, talks about the resurfacing project on Ga. 20/Buford Drive in Gwinnett County.

One of the area’s busiest thoroughfares, Ga. 20/Buford Drive, is about to get a new blast of asphalt.

C.W. Matthews Contracting was set to begin the $3.1 million resurfacing Tuesday night, with the work set to stretch along a 5.7 miles, or between Interstate 85 and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.

The neediest stretch runs between I-85 and Interstate 985, or in front of the Mall of Georgia and its surrounding shopping centers. The average traffic count in 2009 for Ga. 20 at Interstate 985 is 67,040 vehicles.

“Literally, the road is crumbling,” said Teri Pope, spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Gainesville-based District 1.

“There are some extensive asphalt problems, so much so that the contractor is likely to have to go 6 inches deep to remove all of the damage and literally rebuild the roadway.”

The work, which will involve lane closings, will begin each day at 9 p.m. and go until 6 a.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 8 a.m. Sundays and Mondays.

“Working with the contractor, we hope to get this work completed much sooner than the contract completion date of (March 31),” said Randall Davis, district construction engineer with the DOT.

Pope said the hope is the work can be completed, weather permitting, before Thanksgiving, when the holiday shopping season begins in earnest.

The construction contract had required C.W. Matthews to not close lanes until 90 minutes after Gwinnett Braves’ home games ended. The team is based off Ga. 20 not far from the construction site.

“That’s one of the reasons the contractor waited until now to start,” Pope said. “Their season is over. They didn’t make the playoffs, so there won’t be any more games in that stadium this fall.”

But traffic still flows in the area at late hours.

“The mall is still open then, so (the work will have an) impact,” Pope said. “But it’s a fine line to minimize the impact to motorists and give the contractor enough time to get the work done.”